Hello, PATH parents!
Somehow we have muscled our way through the very long and trying year of 2020 and have arrived to December! This is a month that we and our teens typically look forward to, with its holiday break from school, special parties with family and friends, and meaningful activities that are only done during this time of year. Perhaps you have been wondering if, due to certain dynamics your family is facing as part of this chaotic year in history, the holidays will really be the same.
The truth is that they may not be the same. However, they can still be a very precious time with your family, an opportunity to give your teenagers a feeling of normalcy that they haven’t felt in a while.
Our family has had a challenging year with a major move, new jobs for my husband and me, a new community, and new schools for our teens. In this whirlwind of new, my husband also had a significant health event. How did my teens cope?
While my husband and I were at the emergency room, my teens surprised us by pulling out all our holiday décor and completely decorating the house for Christmas! Yes, it was the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving, but my teens explained that it felt so great to crank the Christmas music, get busy, and bring some much needed Christmas cheer to our lives.
Traditions are powerful! They are an anchor in our teenagers’ lives that assures them that some things are constant. Even when life seems a bit uncertain, some things can be counted upon to stay the same.
I encourage you to enjoy as many holiday traditions as you can this year. Even if you can just do one or two meaningful things that you normally do with your teenagers this time of year, it counts!
This year can also be one for starting new traditions. Perhaps instead of the typical family outing you normally do, this year you have a game night at home. Or rather than going out for family bowling, you challenge each other on the Wii gaming system instead. Maybe this is the year that you finally pull out Grandma’s beloved recipes and bake some fun desserts together!
Your teens don’t need a mound of gifts under the tree this year as much as some set-aside time with you. They need some special moments that reassure them that there is still plenty to be grateful for and that everything is going to be okay. Truthfully, we as parents could use those special moments, too!
Happy Holidays from all of us here at PATH! May the end of 2020 be the sweetest part of this year for you and your family!
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.